Statement of IRS Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel
On Tuesday, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report on an IRS conference that took place in 2010. This conference is an unfortunate vestige from a prior era. While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred.
Taxpayers should take comfort that a conference like this would not take place today. Sweeping new spending restrictions have been put in place at the IRS, and travel and training expenses have dropped more than 80 percent since 2010 and similar large-scale meetings did not take place in 2011, 2012 or 2013.
Cutting down on excessive and inappropriate travel has been a personal priority for me. As Federal Controller at the Office of Management and Budget, I led the development and issuance of multiple government-wide policy directives requiring Federal agencies to reduce their total amount of spending on administrative expenses, including travel and conferences, as well as putting in place strict policies for the review, approval, and public reporting of conference expenditures. In addition to the progress at the IRS, these efforts have led to significant progress government-wide, with the Federal government reducing travel expenses by roughly $2 billion in Fiscal Year 2012 compared to Fiscal Year 2010.
As Acting IRS Commissioner, I will continue my efforts and ensure tight spending protocols are in place to protect the use of taxpayer dollars.